Adirondack Hiker’s Gift Guide 2016

Have an avid hiker on your holiday gift list this year? Check this out! I love reading gift guides, so I finally decided to make my own! guide-logo hiking-gift-guide
  1. Big Agnes 15 Degree Down Sleeping Bag - this sleeping bag looks perfect for cold weather camping and should definitely keep you warm and cozy in your tent.
  2. LAMO Footwear Suede Sheepskin Fleece Lining Slippers  - there's nothing like slipping your feet into warm fuzzy slippers for the drive home after a winter hike.
  3. Pistil Clara Visor Beanie - I have a beanie very similar to this one and I love it
  4. Adventure Medical Emergency Bivvy - keeping one of these bivvys in your hiking pack is a must for anyone hiking in the high peaks. I got one as a gift a few years back!
  5. Mountain Landscape Necklace - Etsy is a great place to find unique jewelry for that hiking lady in your life.  *coughcough*
  6. Adirondack Peaks Plaque Burl - With a customizable summit marker, this would make a great gift for someone finishing the 46!
  7. Sea to Summit DryLite Antibacterial Towel - these towels are amazing for camping. They pack down small and are super absorbent and dry quickly!
  8. Stanley Adventure Stainless Steel Food Jar - these are great for keeping food hot! Enjoying a hot meal on a cold summit definitely warms the soul.
  9. Moutain Hardware Snowpass Scarf - fleece infinity scarf. Enough said!
  10. REI Revel Cloud Vest - an extra layer of insulation in the high peaks is always a good idea.
  11. Jetboil MinMo Cooking System - a stove is a  must for winter hiking and  year-round backpacking. I have a jetboil and it is amazing--it boils water in a flash.
  12. Smartwool PhD Outdoor Mountaineer Socks - every hiker loves getting a good pair of wool socks, just sayin'.
  13.  Marmot Fuzzy Wuzzy Glove - keeping hands warm is key during a cold hike--these gloves look like they'd do the job.
Note: I'm not affiliated with any of the above companies, but I have purchased many similar items and highly recommend them.

2016 Troy Turkey Trot 10K

It's somewhat of a tradition for my friends and I to run the Troy Turkey Trot 10K on Thanksgiving morning. img_0188 img_0186 You may have noticed I haven't been running much lately! I've had a reoccurring hip issue for the past few months. I took the entire month of October off from running and skipped two half marathons I was signed up for, hoping that it would get better. On Halloween I ran for the first time in a month, with short runs here and there after that, nothing over four miles. I had thought my hip was healed! At about mile 5 of the Turkey Trot, my hip started aching (not enough to stop mid-race, however). I managed to finish the race at about a 10:18 average pace per mile, which is okay considering I haven't been running regularly. img_0189 After the race we stopped for some coffee and breakfast, which was fun. I'm so thankful for all my running friends and for the running community, and I miss our group runs and races. I've started doing some hip and glute strengthening exercises in hopes of healing my hip for good, so with some more time off from running, I'm hoping it heals so I can start a training plan for a goal race in the spring.

Yard Mountain, Big Slide and the Brothers Loop

Since finishing hiking the 46 high peaks last month, I took a much needed break! However, I can't stay away from the mountains for too long. My new hiking friend was looking to hike in the high peaks on Saturday and I couldn't resist joining him. The great part is, now I can hike what I want, whenever I want! There are bunch of peaks I want to hike again, taking new routes. YEsterday, we decided to hike Big Slide, one of the easier high peaks. Instead of doing the popular out and back route over the Brothers, we chose to take the trail into the John's Brook Lodge, ascending Yard Mountain first, followed by Big Slide, then out over the Brothers for a nice loop hike. We got to the Garden lot in Keene Valley a little before 7:00am and were on the trail to the Johns Brook Lodge at 7. After hiking for 3.5 miles we came to the JBL (at 8:30), which was closed for the season. We took the Klondike trail (red), which on the left behind the JBL, our destination Yard Mountain. img_4834 This trail clearly doesn't get much use! There was a lot of blowdown and overgrown grass. We didn't encounter another soul until just before the summit of Yard.  At 9:15 we came to another junction, taking the blue trail on the right to Yard. img_4835 The trail got pretty steep for some small section, but nothing to horrendous. It was quite enjoyable! Walked up and over Yard without really even noticing, the summit just a small clearing at 4,009' elevation. It was 10:22am. On top is a sign indicating the direction to Big Slide. It was refreshing to take an alternate approach to such a popular mountain--there was nobody up there! img_4836 img_4837 About an hour later, we saw the summit of Big Slide! It had been a few years since I was last up here. We had such clear views--not a cloud in the sky. Pretty rare for mid-November in the high peaks! img_4853 img_4852 img_4838 img_4839 We stayed up there to have lunch and enjoy the sunshine for about 30 minutes. It was time to head back down, going over the Brothers. I had forgotten what this trail was like--but it was muddy and steep. There was a pretty degraded ladder also, which I didn't remember from last time. You can tell this trail gets a lot of use. I was so glad we hiked Yard first becuase the view on each of the Brothers is even better than on Big Slide, in my opinion. img_4846 img_4849 img_4851 img_4850 The hike out took longer than I was expecting, but once we got down off the First Brother, it was an easy walk to the car. We got back before 3pm. img_4856 Yard, Big Slide, and the Brothers Loop Distance 11.3 mi  Ascent  2,961' Total time 7 hrs, 45 minutes Gear used EMS hiking pants, Nike baselayer long sleeve, Gregory Amber pack, 3 L Platypus bladder, Vasque Snowblime hiking boots, Kelty trekking poles, Smartwool socks, EMS Gore-tex gaiters

Day in the Life of a Food Service Management Dietetic Intern

If you aren't familiar with a dietetic internship, it's supervised practice that every dietetic student has to complete in order to sit for the Registered Dietitian exam. Each dietetic internship consists of five rotations in the following areas: Food Service Management, Clinical (Acute Care, Long Term Care and Outpatient), and Community. There is a list of competencies we must meet in order to complete our internship. In August, I took a leave of absence from my job to complete this internship, since it's 40 hrs/week and there was no way I could do both. Thankfully, I can focus on my internship and not have to worry about any other responsibilities. So anyway, I just finished my Food Service Management (FSM) rotation (there are 10 weeks, or 400 hours required total for this rotation). Each rotation has a few major projects that need to be completed. For example, during my FSM rotation I have to complete a menu project where I design a one-week menu for my facility and actually implement one meal from it! My meal  happened a few weeks ago, on National Pumpkin Day!  My other project was a Process Improvement Project, where I selected a management process to assess and evaluate for improvement. For this project, I chose to assess plate waste at my facility and actually implemented a "food sharing table" in an elementary school in hopes of decreasing plate waste. 8:00AM Arrive at my facility's kitchen (my facility happens to be a school!) This morning I'm meeting the Sanitation person who comes in monthly for a sanitation inspection. We go over the basics of her inspection. She checks the temperature logs to make sure food is being cooked and held at the appropriate temperatures. She also checks the ware washer and the cleanliness of the facility. She demos how to properly clean stainless steel appliances. 8:45 AM After the inspector leaves, I get out my standardized recipes for the dishes I'm making for my theme meal on Wednesday. Today I'm prepping for my harvest salad by dicing and roasting butternut squash, assembling the salad and portioning out pumpkin chocolate chip bars, which I made on Friday from scratch. 9:00 AM Start dicing squash. Toss in olive oil and then roast in the oven. img_4758 9:30 AM Assemble ingredients for salad: spinach, craisins, and apples. The apples need to be removed from baggies and diced. I'm extremely thankful they are already cored and sliced! Take squash out of oven and let cool in racks. Once it's cool, I add it to the salad. Toss salad and wrap in plastic wrap, store in cooler for tomorrow. img_4757 10:30AM -12:30PM Lunch start and usually I'm helping with prepping and cooking lunch, but today I'm cutting and portioning out my pumpkin bars for my lunch tomorrow! It takes about 2 hours to cut them into individual bars, plate them and wrap them in plastic wrap. I made a total of 330 bars! img_4761 img_4759 12:30 PM Last lunch line goes through, start cleaning up. Wash dishes, bring them to ware washer. Clean and sanitize work stations. 12:45-4:00 Head back to central office to finish up working on the papers required for my projects. Check in with my preceptor, the Food and Nutrition Services Director. 4:20 Arrive home for a quick stop. This evening I'm heading up to Clifton Park to take part in Let's Go, a childhood obesity prevention program, with five other Interns from my internship program. It's held at a local pediatrician's office. Let's Go is a wellness program for 10-12 year olds and their parents, which teaches them to adopt healthier habits, focusing on the 5-2-1-0 message (5 fruits and vegetables a day, 2 hours of screen time or less per day, one hour of physical activity per day and zero sugar sweetened beverages per day). 5:30-7:00PM I'm at the pediatrician's office with the other interns, RD and the pediatrician. Tonight we're meeting with the kids and their parents to answer any nutrition questions they may have and give them tips/advice on how to make healthier choices! 7:30PM Finally home! Make some dinner, relax and watch some TV, the newest episode of The Walking Dead!

My 46er Finish on Esther and Whiteface Mountains

Saturday afternoon after hiking Seymour, I was pretty tired. I decided ahead of time to get a space at Tmax & Topo's in Keene, a hiker hostel. It's owned by some pretty legendary 46ers (they even made an appearance in the The 46ers Film!) and is frequented by high peaks hikers. So staying here on the eve of my finish, along with so many other accomplished hikers, seemed fitting. I showered, cooked my dinner (trader joe's boxed mac and cheese!) and hunkered down in my room, reflecting on the journey while other hikers milled about discussing their day's hikes. I chatted with my bunkmate who had just hiked Marshall. He was considering hiking Esther and Whiteface the following day, also! I felt at home. I slept like a rock, woke up around 6:00 am to quietly gather my gear, and snuck upstairs to the kitchen to make my oatmeal. Soon, my friend Jona, also a 46er, arrived and we carpooled over to the Whiteface trailhead at the Reservoir in Wilmington. I was so happy she was here! We were meeting Jenna, Colleen and my boyfriend Jordan at the trailhead at around 7:30. We started down the trail at around 7:55. I chose the trail from the Reservoir because it's less steep than the one that begins at the Atmospheric Science Research Center. After hiking 15 miles the previous day, I wanted an easier route. img_4693 We got to the cairn marking the unmarked trail to Esther at 10:18am. You can't miss it. img_4696 I had heard the herdpath was nice and flat, which was a relief.  It took longer than I expected though, because we reached the summit at 11:02 am. The weather had taken a turn and it became extremely windy and overcast. Not sure if there are usually any views on this hike, but we didn't have any. img_4697 So happy to be at high peak #45, Esther (named after the 15 year old Esther Macomb who discovered the summit when she got lost). img_0180 The walk back was quick. Onward to Whiteface. At about 12:26 we came to an old ski trail, which was interesting to see. It looked like a tornado had ripped through there. We also saw Chair 6, which was pretty awesome. img_4698 img_4700 At around 1:00 we got to the rock wall, meaning we were close! The toll road was just up ahead. The trail runs to the left of the road, my parents were parked up there across from the lookout. I was so glad they came! But, we couldn't celebrate yet, I had to make it to the summit. The winds were so bad, the path up to the summit from the parking lot was closed, so I was a little nervous. Thankfully, we had the alternate hiking trail to climb to the summit. img_4720 img_4721 img_4725 Visibility was pretty bad, so we had to follow the yellow markings on the rock to make our way. Soon enough, we were there and the summit sign was right in front of me. I made it to the summit of Whiteface at 1:11pm, a 46er. img_4705 On August 17, 2013 I hiked my first two high peaks in the Adirondacks, Cascade and Porter mountains. I still remember driving up route 73 to Lake Placid the night before, the sun setting, casting its glow on the peaks. I think that was when I really fell in love with these mountains. It has been one long, crazy journey filled with sheer joy, determination, paralyzing fear, and at times defeat. These mountains are nothing to mess with, and finishing some of these hikes was the hardest thing I've ever done. I'm proud to be able to finally call myself a 46er! img_6768 img_0176 img_4708 We didn't stay on the summit for was cold and windy. We hiked back down to where my parents were parked. They had donuts waiting!! It was time to celebrate! We had some champagne, ate our donuts and then started back to the car.

Thanks Jona for presenting me with the Official 46er Patch!

img_4707 We said our goodbyes to my parents (and Jona...she got a ride down because she had to be back in Troy at 5!) At this point my legs were getting pretty tired...but I had to hike the last 5.5 miles down. The descent was slow-going. Around 5pm we arrived back at the reservoir. Still on cloud 9 (and hungry!), we drove to the Noonmark Diner for a celebratory dinner. And then it was time to go home. screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-8-26-37-pm Mount Esther and Whiteface Mountain (45 and 46/46) 12.4 mi RT from the Reservoir Ascent 4,187' Esther Elevation 4,239' Whiteface Elevation 4,865' Total time (including stops) 9 hours img_4711
"It was tough. I was on all fours sometimes. I didn’t think I was going to get there. But I had to get to the top – there was some reason. God knows what it was but I had to go on. And on the top just for a fraction of a moment, the clouds lifted while I was there and I looked down and there a mile below me was Lake Tear of the Clouds, the Hudson’s highest source. And you know, that did something to me. I had seen something – I felt it."--Grace Hudowalski, 46er #9, and the first woman to climb all 46 high peaks